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Drafting a New Story: Women's Rights in the Middle East

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Sarah Lynch, writing for Now Lebanon, has written an insightful piece on the “Teach Women English” program in Lebanon.


“What I like most is the spirit we have in developing our personalities as women,” said Nadine, who is a teacher with the program Teach Women English. “We are reinforcing our role in society, and that is it.”

The program, organized by Lebanese association Hayya Bina in collaboration with the US Embassy, aims to teach women in rural areas English to open them up to new opportunities. Hayya Bina held a three-day teacher training program last weekend in Broummana to prepare the women for their classes, which are offered to 1,000 students nationwide between the ages of 17 and 75.

“Hayya Bina wants to help improve their teaching skills and also prepare them for the challenges they may encounter in leading these classes,” said program director Inga Schei.  “Most women will be working in isolated regions with impassible roads—especially in Akkar—and face interference and intimidation from political ‘parties,’ in particular Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.”

Some of the 25 women present at the three-day training session were urged by their families and other individuals involved in political groups not to attend the weekend of workshops, Schei said. The women came from the South, the Bekka Valley, Akkar, Hermel and Mount Lebanon. Only two of the 25 women had previously been to Broummana.
Visit Now Lebanon to read the entire article, and to see the video testimonials of the teachers!


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